The Whisperlite is simply one of the best camping stoves ever made. It is incredibly reliable and burns a wide range of fuels, which means it’s perfect for use all over the world on treks to areas where you need to be able to trust your stove. Totally field-maintainable with the simple tool kit, it’s been a favourite of Trail’s for many years. Performance-wise you get all the benefits of a petrol stove including consistently short boil times (you maintain pressure in the fuel bottle with the pump), a very hot flame and, depending on the fuel, low running costs. Efficiency is hugely increased by MSR’s superb windshield and heat reflector, and it’s very light for its class. It’s also very stable and features wide pan supports, plus you get good instructions and a lifetime guarantee. The final clincher is the fact that it’s only £75 – not the cheapest stove on test, but a budget buy in the category of multifuel. Especially when you realise it will outlive you. But there are significant drawbacks with petrol stoves, and they are not for everyone or every situation. The Whisperlite is no exception. For a start, it needs priming before use, which can mean a mini-fireball unless you’re very careful, so you shouldn’t use it in a tent. It also gets sooty and it’s inherently more complicated than a gas alternative. Worst of all, this stove is a major porridge-burner and exceptionally difficult to achieve a simmer with.
Verdict Buy it if you’re taken by the incomparable versatility and reliability of a petrol stove and can put up with that difficult simmer.
Fuel types Coleman Fuel, unleaded, paraffin
Also included stuffsack, instructions, windshield, tool kit
Boil time 3min 31sec
Weight 278g (+68g pump)
Pan support diameter 17cm
Max burn time 2hr 30 min